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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Zach Tanelli to Join Virginia Tech Staff

    We’re starting off the week with some huge news on the coaching front. On Thursday, as many of us were traveling to the Olympic Trials, news trickled out that Zach Tanelli had stepped down from his position as the head coach of Columbia. 

    Now, we’re talking Tanelli again as he has accepted a job as associate head coach at Virginia Tech. The Hokies had an opening on staff after Cody Brewer left for a position with Princeton. 

    Tanelli just wrapped up his eighth season at the helm for the Lions. During his tenure at Columbia, the Lions posted a 39-62 dual record - which is a bit misleading as they went 3-12 during each of his first two seasons as was turning the program around. 

    The 2022-23 season proved to be one of the best in school history as Tanelli’s team sent a record six wrestlers to Tulsa after scoring the most points in team history at the EIWA Championships. Their 95 points were good enough for fourth place. Columbia duplicated that finish at the 2024 EIWA Championships. 

    In Kansas City, at the 2024 NCAA Championships, Tanelli’s 174 lber Lennox Wolak made the semifinals and ended up in sixth place. Wolak became the first wrestler to make the NCAA podium under Tanelli and the school’s first All-American since 2013. At EIWA’s, Wolak and 184 lber Aaron Ayzerov captured conference championships for Columbia. In doing so, they became the first teammates to win EIWA championships in the same year for Columbia since 1935. 

    Wolak already announced that he will join Virginia Tech as a graduate transfer. 

    On Friday, former Hokie assistant, Cody Brewer, announced he was moving on to Princeton as an assistant coach, opening up a spot on the Virginia Tech staff. 

    The Hokies are coming off a season in which they finished seventh in the nation - amassing 64 points on the strength of four All-Americans, one of which being Caleb Henson - the national champion at 149 lbs and only the second in school history. 

    Tanelli and Hokies Associate Head Coach, Jared Frayer, both spent time at Wisconsin about 15 years ago. They overlapped during Tanelli’s final year in Madison, which is when Frayer joined the Badger staff.

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